Eisenberg Law Group


Wrongful Termination

In California, many employees are considered “at will” and can be terminated for a variety of reasons.  However, employers often violate California law when firing “at will” employees.

Wrongful termination occurs when someone is fired or forced to quit in violation of any law or public policy.Also, if an employer terminates an employee in violation of the terms of the employment contract, this can be wrongful termination as well.

If you or a loved one has been wrongfully terminated, under California law you can recover past and future lost wages and benefits, emotional distress damages, and other damages as well.

You may have a wrongful termination case if one of the following has happened to you:

Violation of Public Policy: You were fired because you refused to break the law.

Discrimination: You were fired because of your age, disability, ethnicity, race, religion, sex or gender, sexual orientation, medical condition, or other protected status.

Retaliation: Your employer fired you because you reported wrongdoing, illegal conduct, participated in an investigation with law enforcement, or made a complaint about the violation of your rights.

Violation of Employment Agreement: Your employer breached your employment agreement.

Wrongful Discharge in Violation of Public Policy

California law imposes a duty on all employers, regardless of whether it is expressly stated in the employment contract, to refrain from discharging an employee (firing or forcing to resign) in violation of public policy.

Examples of wrongful termination in violation of public policy:

  • The employee is terminated because he/she refuses to break the law or violate rules
  • The employee is terminated because he/she is a “whistleblower”
  • The employee is terminated because he/she participates in a law enforcement investigation against the employer’s wishes
  • The employee is terminated because he/she refuses to break ethical obligations set forth by her professional organization
  • The employee is terminated due to discriminatory reasons
  • The employee is terminated because he/she invokes their right to take family or medical leave
  • The employee is terminated because he/she protests unsafe working conditions

There are a variety of other potential categories of wrongful terminationin violation of public policy.  Contact our office to learn more and to see if you have a case.

Wrongful Termination Due to Discrimination

In California, the Fair Employment and Housing Act prohibits discriminatory employment practices toward, in most cases, “any person.”  Therefore, it does not usually matter if the person who was discriminated against is an employee, intern, volunteer, applicant, or former employee.

The Fair Employment and Housing Act, which is the law in California, prohibits an employer from taking any adverse action against a protected individual based on his or her:

  • Race
  • Religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices)
  • Color
  • National origin
  • Ancestry
  • Physical or mental disability
  • Medical condition
  • Genetic information
  • Marital status
  • Sex
  • Gender
  • Gender identity
  • Gender expression
  • Sexual orientation
  • Military and veteran status
  • Age (if 40 or over)
  • Pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding or related medical conditions of any female employee

Wrongful Termination Due to Retaliation

State and Federal laws offer protections to employees that report violations of law, report unfair or unlawful business practices, or otherwise stand up for their rights.  It is against the law for an employer to discharge (fire or force to resign) an employee if the employee does any of the following:

  • Complain about or report discrimination
  • Complain about or report sexual harassment or other unlawful conduct
  • Complain about or report wage and hour violations, such as unpaid wages, failure to pay overtime, and failure to pay employees on time
  • Complain about or report unsafe working conditions
  • Request family or medical leave and/or benefits
  • Report the employer or company’s violation of any law or violation of ethical obligations
  • Refuse the employer’s request or demand that the employee break the law, engage in illegal activity, or violate ethical obligations

Wrongful Termination Due to Breach of Employment Agreement

In California, employees are not always required to have written employment contracts.  However, when an employer enters into a written employment contract with an employee, the employer is not allowed to breach the terms of that contract.  Some of the material terms of an employment contract that may be breached are the following:

  • Length of employment contract
  • Amount of payment
  • Reasons an employee may be terminated

Contact a Los Angeles Wrongful Termination Attorney

If you believe that you’ve been wrongfully terminated by your employer, please contact our office so that we can give you a FREE consultation.  We will gladly assist you in evaluating whether or not you have a valid claim, free of charge.  Further, if you suspect that your employer is engaging in unfair or discriminatory practices against you or your fellow employees, please give us a call for a FREE consultation to see if you have a case.

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